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Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby’s contract extended through 2025

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The future of the Big 12 conference still seems a little murky but one thing remains clear: commissioner Bob Bowlsby will be in charge no matter which way things go.

The league announced on Friday morning that Bowlsby’s contract was extended through 2025, keeping him at Big 12 headquarters through the next round of television negotiations and right up to the expiration date on the conference’s grant of rights.

“This is an important time for college athletics. This is an important time for the Big 12,” West Virginia President Gordon Gee, the chairman of the conference’s board of directors, said in a video statement. “To have a valiant and committed leader and someone who understands athletics as well as anyone in this country leading our conference is something that is very much important to the league and to the individual schools and I believe to college athletics.”

Bowlsby notably guided the Big 12 through on-again, off-again rounds of conference expansion the past few years and played a big role in bringing a football championship game and new tiebreaker scenarios to the league since he took over in 2012. The former Stanford and Iowa athletic director will be 73 at the end of his new contract, which is paying him right under $2.7 million a year according to USA Today.

Vandy upsets No. 18 K-State, wins first over ranked non-conference team in 70 years

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There were a lot of people who didn’t see this one coming, although I can guarantee you that the rest of the SEC East is sitting up and taking notice.

Coming into their Week 3 game against 18th-ranked Kansas State, Vanderbilt was somewhere between a 4-6-point underdog at home.  After 60 minutes Saturday night, Vandy proclaimed they could be a force to be reckoned with in conference play as a stifling defense played a huge role in dropping the Wildcats by the score of 14-7.

The Commodores took a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter, with the Wildcats tying it up very early in the second.  That 7-7 score would stay static for the next 36 minutes or so of game time until quarterback Kyle Shurmur‘s two-yard touchdown run (of course) proved to be the difference in the game.

K-State had a chance to tie the game late, but quarterback Jesse Ertz was stopped a yard short on a fourth-and-8 that originated from the Vandy 19-yard line.

Neither team did much offensively, with the Wildcats accounting for 277 yards of offense to the Commodores’ 270.  Vandy averaged 4.9 yards per play, K-State 4.4.

With the win, Vandy is 3-0 to start the season for the first time since 2011, James Franklin‘s first of three with the program.  This also marks the first time since 1946, a 7-0 win over No. 20 North Carolina State, that Vandy has beaten a ranked non-conference opponent.

With the struggles of Florida and Tennessee, Vandy is slowly becoming the trendy pick to challenge Georgia for SEC East supremacy.  Buyer beware on that front, though, as they will face No. 1 Alabama (home), No. 24 Florida (road), No. 13 Georgia (home) and undefeated Ole Miss (road) the next four weeks.

For now, though, the Commodores will bask in the glow of the biggest win, outside of last year’s upending of No.24 Tennessee, of Derek Mason‘s time in Nashville.

Washington’s Dante Pettis returns punt for TD in third straight game, ties two NCAA records in the process

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Why you would ever, ever punt to Dante Pettis is beyond me.  Yet, here we are.  Again.

In the first two weeks of the 2017 season, the Washington returner extraordinaire had taken two punts to the house, giving him seven such touchdowns for his career.  In the first quarter of its Week 3 game, Fresno State opted to punt to him and, well, Pettis did what Pettis does.

Yep.

In one fell swoop, Pettis tied a pair of NCAA records.

The record for career punt returns for touchdowns is now shared by Pettis with Texas Tech’s Wes Welker (2000-03) and Oklahoma’s Antonio Perkins (2001-04).  Kansas State’s David Allen (1998) and North Carolina’s Ryan Switzer (2013) are the only other players to return one for a score in back-to-back-to-back games.

Vegas remains very high on Ohio State’s national title hopes

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Ohio State may no longer be viable national title contenders in the eyes of some fans, that’s not how one Las Vegas book sees it.

Despite an embarrassing home loss to Oklahoma Saturday night, OSU is currently an 8/1 favorite to claim the 2017 College Football Playoff championship according to Bovada.lv. That’s down just slightly from the 6/1 they were at after Week 1 and behind just two other teams — Alabama at 7/4 (13/5 on Sept. 5) and USC at 6/1.

And the team that convincingly dropped the Buckeyes? The Sooners are at 8/1 after being at 14/1 a week ago.

Of course, there is precedence for OSU bouncing back from such an early-season loss, which is surely in the back of Vegas’ oddsmaking minds. Three years ago, OSU stumbled in a double-digit Week 2 loss to Virginia Tech before going undefeated the remainder of the year and claiming the 2014 national championship in the first season of the CFP.

Getting back to the here and now, the 2016 national champions, Clemson (20/1), are at 14/1 in Bovada‘s latest title odds, as are Michigan and Penn State. Both of those Big Ten teams hold steady from their odds a week ago.

Houston, at 100/1, is the only Group of Five team still on the board.

Below is the latest set of 2017 national championship odds, again courtesy of Bovada.lv.

AP poll bumps Oklahoma up to No. 2, USC to No. 4

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Oklahoma’s 31-16 win over Ohio State allowed the Sooners to supplant the Buckeyes in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll, released Sunday. Not only was the night and the subsequent drop to No. 8 bad enough for the Buckeyes, the AP had to turn around and troll them about it.

Georgia moved up two spots to No. 13 after last night’s win at then-No. 24 Notre Dame, while Auburn dropped only to No. 15 following a 14-6 loss at No. 3 Clemson. Stanford fell to No. 19 after their 42-24 loss to No. 4 USC, while TCU nudged forward three spots for its over an unranked but respected opponent in Arkansas. Notre Dame dropped out of the poll after losing to Georgia, allowing UCLA to make its 2017 debut at No. 25.

The full poll:

1. Alabama — 1,522 total points (58 first-place votes)
2. Oklahoma — 1,447 (2)
3. Clemson — 1,380 (1)
4. USC — 1,324
5. Penn State — 1,299
6. Washington — 1,124
7. Michigan — 1,107
8. Ohio State — 1,003
9. Oklahoma State — 1,002
10. Wisconsin — 993
11. Florida State — 944
12. LSU — 935
13. Georgia — 882
14. Louisville — 658
15. Auburn — 591
16. Virginia Tech — 559
17. Miami — 542
18. Kansas State — 475
19. Stanford — 364
20. TCU — 352
21. Washington State — 233
22. South Florida — 188
23. Tennessee — 159
24. Florida — 146
25. UCLA — 119